Thursday, July 16, 2009

Treading Water

Ah yes, blogging has been slow of late. We are in the middle of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church and I am rather frustrated that I am not there. I'm still irritated with colleagues who won't let me get involved because they think I'm either too young or too involved in my "other job". Damn it, if you want to get certain priests involved, you have to accept that some of us are freakin' bi-vocational and that our ENTIRE WORK AND LIVES is ministry and priest-work. That means that the work in a hospital is ALSO priest work. Meanwhile, I'm treading water here in CT. I've got some vacation coming up in three weeks, and thanks to a clergy shortage, I'm having some trouble finding pastoral emergency coverage and supply. Several parishoners are threatening to leave or at least take their business to a different church for those three weeks in August, and several others are attending a different church for the summer.

News for you, cupcakes. This is what a clergy shortage looks like. It means the clergy have to draw tight and careful boundaries around their time off so we don't burn out. Burned out priests do no one any good. You found that out already. And a clergy shortage means that sometimes, you will want a priest and you won't be able to get one. Yes, it stinks.

It's a symptom of our long, long lack of good stewardship and investment in our spiritual life and our churches. For such a long time, we've been phoning it in, living off endowments and expecting that the church is always there even if we aren't really invested in it.

For so long, we were the church that was comfortable. What happens now? Do we stop being the church that is comfortabe, and become the church that is prophetic?

Or do we just tread water until the tide has gone out and we can walk on the sandbar until the tide comes again to wipe us out?

Sorry if I sound frustrated- I'm a little cranky since I want to go out and bike ride and train for the century, but with a sermon and a shift and phone calls to make that just can't happen this morning. It'll happen tomorrow, my day off. But trying to have this night owl operating on that morning schedule... yech!

2 comments:

Sandra said...

Betsy,
This post concerns me. Give me a call, if you want to talk.
Sandra

Anonymous said...

Don't know too many jobs where you can get so many weeks off in a year. Be happy you have a job.